DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2005) — The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loans to businesses impacted by employees actively serving in the military.
Small businesses that employ military reservists or National Guard members (reservists) who are called to active duty may be eligible to apply for a Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) to cover operating expenses associated with the key employee's absence. According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a loan of up to $1.5 million is available for paying fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot otherwise be paid. The interest rate will not exceed 4.0 percent, with a maximum term of 30 years. The SBA determines the amount and term of each loan based on the financial circumstances of each borrower, Diamond Bar-based SEMA said. For more details, visit the SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/disaster/mreidl.html.
Under federal law, all employers must grant necessary time off to reservists. Upon completion of the military duty, the returning reservist is entitled to return to the job, or a similar job, with no loss in seniority or other accrued benefits, SEMA said. Additional information is available from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Web site, sponsored by the Department of Defense, at www.esgr.org/employers2/thelaw.asp.